If you're looking for a picturesque destination to visit in northern Italy, Cernobbio should be on your list. Located on the western shore of Lake Como, this charming town boasts breathtaking natural beauty, rich history, and a lively cultural scene. In this post, we'll guide you through the best things to do in Cernobbio, including exploring historic villas and savoring the local cuisine. Join us on a journey to discover all that this must-visit destination has to offer.
Cernobbio is a renowned tourist centre located on the picturesque shores of Lake Como, making it a must-visit destination during your trip to this breathtaking region.
When you visit Lake Como, take the time to explore the charming town of Cernobbio, which offers an array of cultural and culinary experiences. Getting there is easy, as there are several bus and ferry services that connect to the different parts of the lake. So, make sure to add Cernobbio to your itinerary and immerse yourself in its beauty and charm.
Visit the magnificent Villas
One of the most popular attractions in Cernobbio is Villa d'Este, a stunning 16th-century villa located on the shore of Lake Como (Lungolago di Cernobbio). Originally built for a cardinal, the villa was transformed into a luxury hotel in the 19th century and has since welcomed guests from around the world.
Villa d'Este is famous for its beautiful gardens, which feature terraced fountains, sculptures, and breathtaking lake views. Visitors can also explore the villa's ornate rooms and admire the beautiful frescoes and artwork.
Other fantastic Villas to visit include Villa Erba and Villa Pizzo.
Take a walk along the lakefront promenade
Cernobbio's lakefront promenade is a scenic pathway that runs along the shore of Lake Como, offering breathtaking views of the water and the surrounding mountains. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll, jog, or bike ride along the promenade, stopping to enjoy the charming cafes and restaurants along the way. The promenade also provides access to several beaches and swimming areas, making it a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts.
Explore the historic center of Cernobbio
Cernobbio's Center is a charming area filled with narrow streets, colorful buildings, and quaint shops and cafes. Visitors can wander through the cobblestone streets and admire the town's historic architecture, including the Church of San Vittore, which dates back to the 11th century.
The center of Cernobbio is also home to several local markets, where visitors can find fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and other local products.
Cernobbio has amazing architecture. We especially love the painted walls of the buildings
Attend cultural events and festivals
Cernobbio is known for its vibrant cultural scene, with several festivals and events taking place throughout the year. One of the most popular events is the annual Antiquaria Cernobbio antiques fair, which attracts antique dealers and collectors from around the world.
Other events include the Cernobbio in Fiore flower show, the Cernobbio Jazz Festival, and the Cernobbio Food Festival, which showcases the region's delicious cuisine.
Go hiking in the surrounding mountains
The mountains surrounding Lake Como offer some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Italy, and Cernobbio is a great starting point for exploring them. Visitors can take a hike up Mount Bisbino, which offers stunning views of Lake Como and the Alps. The Sentiero del Viandante is another popular hiking trail, offering breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The trails are suitable for hikers of all levels, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a picnic or a swim along the way.
Monte Bisbino is a beautiful mountain located in the Como province of Lombardy, Italy. The mountain offers breathtaking views of Lake Como and the surrounding mountains, making it a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts.
Visitors can take a hike up to the summit of Monte Bisbino, which offers stunning panoramic views of the lake and the Alps. The hike is suitable for hikers of all levels, and there are several trails available, ranging from easy to challenging. Along the way, hikers can enjoy the beautiful natural scenery, including forests, streams, and wildlife.
At the summit of Monte Bisbino, visitors can enjoy a refreshment at the mountain hut, which offers traditional Italian food and drink. The hut also offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains, making it a perfect spot for a picnic or a relaxing break.
For those who prefer a less strenuous way to enjoy the beauty of Monte Bisbino, there is a cable car that takes visitors up to the summit. The cable car offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is a great way to experience the beauty of the region.
Visit the nearby city of Como
Just a short distance from Cernobbio is the city of Como, another beautiful destination on Como, which is a renowned tourist center for its breathtaking natural beauty, stunning villas, and vibrant cultural heritage.
The city has long been a popular retreat for aristocrats, celebrities, and tourists seeking tranquility, leisure, and inspiration. In addition, Lake Como offers visitors an array of outdoor activities, including boating, hiking, and cycling, as well as a thriving food and wine culture that reflects the area's rich culinary traditions.
Cernobbio is an excellent starting point to get to know Como's top attractions.
Take a ferry ride to other towns on Lake Como
Cernobbio is located in the heart of Lake Como, making it a great starting point for exploring other towns and villages around the lake. Visitors can take a ferry ride to nearby destinations like Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio, each of which has its own unique charm and character. Ferry rides offer stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains, making them a popular way to experience the beauty of Lake Como.
Taking a boat trip to other towns on Lake Como is a fantastic way to experience the beauty and charm of the region. Bellagio, often called the "pearl of Lake Como," is one of the most popular destinations, located on a promontory at the junction of the lake's three branches.
Varenna, located on the eastern shore of Lake Como, is another popular destination. The town is famous for its picturesque waterfront, colorful buildings, and narrow alleys that lead up the hillside. Visitors can explore Varenna's historic center, including the medieval castle of Vezio, and stroll along the lakefront promenade.
Other towns on Lake Como that are worth a visit include Menaggio, a charming town with a beautiful waterfront and stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains; Tremezzo, home to the impressive Villa Carlotta and its botanical gardens.
Ferry rides are available throughout the day, making it easy to hop on and off and explore multiple towns in one day. Whatever your preference, a ferry ride to other towns on Lake Como is a must-do activity during your visit to Cernobbio.
Visit Villa Bernasconi Museum
Villa Bernasconi Museum is another must-visit attraction (affiliate link) in Cernobbio. This beautiful villa, located on the shore of Lake Como, was built in the early 20th century for a wealthy Milanese silk merchant. The villa has since been transformed into a museum, showcasing the art and culture of the region.
Visitors can explore the villa's ornate rooms with beautiful paintings, sculptures, and furniture. The villa's architecture is also worth admiring, with its elegant facade and stunning gardens overlooking the lake. The museum offers a glimpse into the history and culture of Lake Como, with exhibits that highlight the region's art, architecture, and lifestyle.
One of the museum's most impressive exhibits is the ceramic tiles collection, created by famous Italian artists such as Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti. Visitors can also explore the villa's beautiful gardens, which feature a variety of plants and flowers, as well as stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
The museum offers guided tours, which provide insight and knowledge about the history and culture of the region. The tours are available in several languages, making them accessible to visitors worldwide.
Have a delicious Meal
Cernobbio offers a wide range of dining options for visitors to enjoy, from traditional Italian cuisine to international specialties. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars to choose from, each offering its own unique atmosphere and menu.
One of Cernobbio's most popular dining destinations is Osteria del Beuc, a charming restaurant specializing in traditional Italian dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant is known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, with a cozy dining room and outdoor terrace that offers stunning views of the lake.
Another popular restaurant in Cernobbio is Trattoria del Vapore, a family-owned restaurant that serves delicious Italian cuisine in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The menu features a variety of dishes, including fresh seafood, homemade pasta, and wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant is known for its warm and welcoming service, and its cozy dining room is a great place to enjoy a meal with friends and family.
Read on: the best foods to eat in Italy
If you're looking for a more casual dining experience, there are plenty of cafes and bars in Cernobbio to choose from. Cafe Cavour is a popular spot for breakfast and lunch, serving a range of coffee drinks, pastries, and sandwiches. The bar at Villa d'Este is another popular spot, offering cocktails, wine, and snacks in a stylish and sophisticated setting.
More places to visit in Northern Italy
Don't miss a visit to Venice, the "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", and "City of Canals".
If you want to visit the Italian Alps, pay a visit to Bolzano, an amazing Italian-German Speaking city with breathtaking landscapes.
If you are crazy about food and vineyards, check out what to see and eat in Piedmont.